Keyes blasts Obama policies in speech

Former ambassador and presidential candidate Alan Keyes blasted President Obama and his policies in a speech to a Wichita audience Saturday night.

"It looks like nothing any rational person would do if he was hoping for a positive outcome," Keyes said.

Keyes spoke to about 200 people at the Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central, in support of Republican congressional candidate Jim Anderson.

Keyes criticized Obama for both his foreign and domestic policy decisions.

He said Obama was fiscally irresponsible for the federal bailout of financial institutions and the auto industry, saying it has saddled future generations with huge debt.

He also criticized an Obama policy that requires American soldiers in Afghanistan not to return fire at the enemy if there's a possibility that they might strike civilians. He said enemy fighters who know about the policy position themselves among civilians.

Keyes said the United States was "without a doubt the greatest and most powerful and most successful nation in the history of the world."

But he likened the state of the nation today to the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The black plumes of smoke are rising from the Constitution, which is laying in ruins," he said.

Keyes said in an interview before the speech that he accepted Anderson's invitation to visit Kansas because he shares Anderson's conservative views about government.

Anderson, a small-business owner, is one of five candidates in the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard.

Anderson, too, attacked the government bailout of banks and auto manufacturers. He said "a government-run health care system" would result in a bureaucracy that would have "the efficiency of the Post Office with the compassion of the IRS."

Anderson said the upcoming congressional elections could offer Americans their last chance to return to the traditional values of their founding fathers.

"The elections of 2010 are the most important elections in our history," he said.

The other candidates in the race are businessmen Mike Pompeo and Wink Hartman, and state Sens. Dick Kelsey and Jean Schodorf.

Saturday night's speech was one of several scheduled events for Keyes, a Reagan administration diplomat known for his conservatism and candidacies for the Senate and the presidency.

Keyes is scheduled to appear today in Coffeyville and Independence, and Monday in Kingman. He is scheduled to return to Wichita Monday night for a reception and fundraiser for Anderson's campaign.